Tree of Ourselves

“I’m a princess cut from marbles
Smoother than a stone
And the scars that mark my body
They’re silver and gold”

Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde

I liked to visualize human’s emotional journey in life as if they leave mark on our bodies. This thought most likely started when the song I quoted came out (It was the main soundtrack of The Hunger Games and I love that franchise). Where your trauma, stress, and pain show themselves as scars. The more you experience them, the more scars you get. The degree of how hard an experience in your life is reflected in how deep and big the scars are on your body. You can differentiate between the old and new ones. Which one healed nicely after being treated accordingly and which one still stings after years. But seeing myself as that…is sad. Not that scar is shame and disgrace, but I just feel that it is not a supporting way to see myself. Like doesn’t matter how good it heals, it still is something that only takes something away from you. When in truth, even bad things have good lessons to be learned.

Last year, I got asked to draw a tree for a personality test. I drew a tree I love. One with a big trunk, long branches, visible strong roots, a lot of healthy leaves, and fruits. Along with that, I somehow added a few details such as marks of scratch, falling old leaves, and cut smaller branches. Aside from being amazed I can draw better than I expect, something else came up in my head when I was done. I found myself looking and thinking hard at it.

“This tree, it has history,” I thought.

I truly saw it with a life of its own. “Probably one in a residency garden. So old, no one living around has any idea when it was planted. Kids from an English Course nearby like to sit under it while having their break. One of its biggest branches broke last month because they like to sit on it too much,” The fictional tree becoming more and more humane.

“It has been cut down before, hurt, and probably struggled badly to storms, yet here it is. Healthy and producing,” I smiled.

I now prefer to see a human’s emotional journey in life as a tree. You can lose a branch due to unhealthy growth or external circumstances and it will leave a mark. But a new branch can grow too. Your leaves will fall every autumn, but no need to worry since spring will come. It's just like pain, swinging mood, sadness, trauma, and everything else. It helps to see the ugly part of my past simply as my history, it doesn't sting. Where a burn mark on one side of my trunk coexists with my sweetest fruit. It just feels more peaceful.

I don’t know. I hope this makes sense to other people, our life in the form of a tree. Where even after losing a part of you, you can grow again and gain something new — not the same because you can’t, nothing in this world is ever the same. But something that fits you better for the present moment. One in which even after being torn to the ground completely, a seed from the same tree can grow again.

Author’s note
Leave comments and claps — you can do that multiple times, to let me know you enjoy this piece :D

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Keisha Elyoni

Here lie some of the sorted thoughts from my head. I write in Bahasa Indonesia and English. linktr.ee/KeishaElyoni